quinn esq's picture

    Lippy Kids.

    The Royal Wedding's over.

    As always, however, a learning experience. For example, the media told us repeatedly that the one thing the Brits do well is... pomp.

    Well, that and ceremony. Two things, I guess. (Probably a bit more on the pomp, though. 60/40, I'd say.)

    Anyway, I don't agree. Face it, there's only been one important story about the British Royal Family in the last 50 years, only one person, and that was Diana - and the British reaction to her death was the only real gut-level engagement anyone's had. This last wedding was fun, but pretty much like any one of dozens of other British parties, like Henley or the Boat Race or Wimbledon or May Morning. Amusing, but best experienced drunk, and with drapery on your head.

    In my mind, the Brits happen to do many other things well. Many many many other things. Well. And I mean, not just well, but very very very well. No, THE BEST. Simply The Best. #1. Beyond compare. Many things. As in, for instance, e.g., there's Cuisine. Courtesy. Engineering. Dammit all. What do the Brits do really well? I have to tell these people something! How about Democracy. Yeah right, The Iron Lady, Blair going into Iraq. Forget democracy. Sports maybe? Whoa. Last time they won Wimbledon was under Victoria. Well then... darts? F*ck darts, are you daft? Shit shit shit shit shit. Ok, WAIT! Got one!!! 

     As I was saying, the Brits are great at... Comedy.

     Pretty much at every level of society, the Brits are just plain funny. Witty, absurd, obnoxious, goofy, intellectual and drunken - they cover off 6 of Aristotle's categories of Fun. Which only makes sense, when you think about it. Balance of Power in Europe and all. Once the French put a such a lock on Arrogant, you pretty much had to expect the Brits to counter by dominating Humour. (And thence onward through the rest of the European Balance of Terror, including the Germans with Shouting, the Swiss with being Neutral and the Italians with Underage Girls.)

    Also, they're good at music. The Brits, that is. And since I've been enjoying some good British music this past week, and what with Canada entering a revolution tomorrow, I thought I'd best post this up now.

    1. "If I Fell," The Beatles, from Hard Day's Night. 1964.

     Woke up singing this, morning after morning, this past month. Wiki had an interesting note on the song - might explain the way it stuck in my head. "The song is notable for its unusual structure, which includes an unrepeated introductory section sung by Lennon, followed by sequential verse sections... but with no obvious chorus or bridge section.... The remainder of the song features a two-part harmony, sung by Lennon and McCartney together into a single microphone at their suggestion, with Lennon singing the lower harmony.... It also features intricate chord changes. The key changes from D flat major to D major between the introduction (a series of descending barre chords) and the main song, which uses mainly open chords, including an unusual D ninth."

    Then again, it might just have stuck in my head because it's from Hard Day's Night, which I played about a million times when I was 5.



    2. "Protection," Massive Attack featuring Tracey Thorn, from Protection. 1994.


    Rolling Stone says this is one of the Top Ten coolest albums of all time. It's from Bristol's Massive Attack, and has that gorgeous Tracey Thorn voice blowing through, but I donno about cool. To me, it's about that line, "I stand in front of you, I'll take the force of the blow, Protection." And as she sings, Thorn swaps the sexes of Protector and Protected. However you read it, coming 30 years after The Beatles, it's still a thing of beauty. [And if you missed but happen to like Massive Attack, might wanna go back and try their Bristol cousins, Portishead, doing "Glory Box."]



    3. "Love Goes Down," Plan B, from The Defamation of Strickland Banks. 2010. 


    Easily the best album of 2010, I'm not even sure if this got released in the States. This kid, Ben Drew, started as a white boy rapper out of East London, with that whole Snatch/Lock-Stock-Two-Smoking-Barrels feel to him, plus a hell of a lot of Eminem. 


    But then, out of the blue, he went and did a Soul album. A real Soul album. Listen to it, and you'll rack up Fine Young Cannibals from the 80's, even Smokey Robinson. His voice is tenuous as hell, but all the more touching for it. The album's storyline is pretty much rap opera, but damned if the songs and the musicianship aren't world-class. Here's the 5th single, "Love Goes Down," and in an album that's gonna end up releasing 7 singles in all - you really should check out the whole thing. (And to me, "She Said" is the #1 song - and video - of 2010.)



    4. "Lippy Kids," Elbow, from Build A Rocket Boys! March, 2011.

    Just out last month, let's just say that if you like Peter Gabriel ) or Radiohead or Coldplay or ______, then you're in for some happy. Put it on, wait 'til the chorus, and then... make your call. I'm not even gonna try to tart it up. As a band, Elbow are apparently well-known in the UK, and I came upon them well late. But sometimes that ends up being the most wonderful thing. I mean, to find something you love, and then not to have to wait years between releases, but to find 3 or 4 or 5 already there?? 

    This one, a beauty of a song about adolescence. They've got other great songs that you might want to check out if you like Lippy Kids. "Grounds for Divorce" has a great video, and "One Day Like This" has already become a bit of a British anthem, with massive singalongs and concerts with full strings on the Beeb and such. Anyhoo - Lippy Kids.



    And welcome to the Revolution, Canucksters!


    I don't know if you caught this but on the day of the wedding, the Guardian.co.uk home page had a pop-up message "Click here if you are a republican" which took you to a different version of the home page with no mention of the wedding.  Now that's funny.

    For me, far and away the best song on Plan B's Strickland Banks album is this one:

    I know a Song

    Seriously great album. I've got friends and family who prefer at least a half-dozen different songs from it. "She Said" won it for me, probably because this video is now welded to the song in my head. The bailiffs dancing - awesome. 

    Yes - across the board great songs. And great videos.

    Have you heard his foray into club music with Chase and Status:


    Hadn't seen that one - thanks. I really liked this one with Chase & Status, video taken from the Harry Brown film he was in with Michael Caine. 

    That's another good one! gotta say I'm not sooo much of a fan of his hiphop stuff. Which is where he is most at home, funnily enough. It's odd how things like that work out...

    Thanks, Quinn; this is great!

    Glad you like it, Cville! Interesting to me to see the regional spread of the music, and how they very much come out of particular contexts - the Beatles from Liverpool, Massive Attack and Portishead from Bristol, Plan B very much London, and Elbow with that Manchester sound. 

    And then, of course, there's... Scotland does Motown. ;-)  KT Tunstall doing Jackson 5. 

    I know you're a Neil Young fan; I confess I like his early stuff way better.  I have a few I play when I'm a little depressed.  Like this one:


    Love Neil's early stuff as well. For years I put a Buffalo Springfield compilation into the stack that played as I fell asleep - Bluebird, On The Way Home, all of that. Here's Neil doing two songs, just him though. Still great. 

    This is quite a show and other peeps show up and present their own music.

    I hereby render unto THE Q the Dayly Musical Gala Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of him from all of me.

    What a show!

    Oh and of course England is supreme in the hatmaking sense.

    Larry always orders his hats from some London sweat shoppe. ha

    Didn't the British invent limes, too, er somethin'?

    Thanks Dick. I hope my $50 comes in the form of hat vouchers. ;-)

    Okay, but you owe Larry $50.00. The guy who makes the award pays.

    And Larry owes me $50.00 for some..er..knickers shall we call them.


    Thanks for the Elbow room. 

    Talented band. Manchester. This song, for anyone who's been through one eh? "Grounds for Divorce." Rocks. 

    What a pomp-ous post. What were you expecting? To fly?

    And everyone knows Lady Di was whacked by paparazzi-mafia over a Middle East intrigue or the queen's revenge or both. In short, everybody knows this is nowhere.

    But for all the happy talk about the wedding (and personally I'd rather sport out for the Queen's Birthday in A'dam, given the weekend's offering), it'll all turn mundane and forgotten by the time the crowd heads for the turnstiles.

    And considering hundreds of tornadoes spreading across the US last week, the wedding would have to come across like a hurricane to make it on TV news.

    But better to be done with it Friday than Sunday, as we were more glued to whacking an old man.

    But the media will make out Will & Kate's wedding like something out of motion pictures... 

    Even though she seemed to have a bit tired eyes


    Weren't you listenin'? Red means run, son, and numbers add up to nuthin'.

    Don't give me the finger, buddy - down on main street desolation lurks.

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